Africa: Ministers Meet over Extreme Weather Hazards

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WaterSan Perspective reporter in Cabo Verde
February 11, 2015

Ministers responsible for meteorology in Africa are meeting to coordinate and accelerate regional efforts to strengthen resilience to extreme weather hazards and adapt to climate change.

The Third Session of the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET) is being hosted by the government of Cabo Verde from 10th -14th February.

Climate change is behind the increasing frequency of extreme weather hazards in Africa
Climate change is behind the increasing frequency of extreme weather hazards in Africa

It focuses on improving weather and climate services which are vital to food security, water management, disaster risk reduction and health, as well as key economic sectors like transport, energy and tourism, among others.

“Every African country should be involved in the collective effort towards the transformative socio-economic development of the continent to build The Africa We Want envisaged in the African Union Agenda 2063,” says African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Rhoda Peace Tumusiime.

Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture
Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture

“National Meteorological and Hydrological Services are critical actors in supporting sustainable development. There is today increased awareness of the socioeconomic benefits delivered by weather and climate services,” says World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.

The ministers are discussing the Integrated African Strategy on Meteorology (Weather and Climate Services), one of its aims is to increase recognition and funding for NMHSs. They will approve a new regional climate centre for Central Africa to consolidate research and forecasting capabilities. They will also consider input from the meteorological community to a pan-African Space Policy and Strategy.

“Knowledge, research and innovation are all vital to the competitiveness of the African economy and to allow us to meet weather, water and energy challenges,” says Dr. Antero Veiga, Minister for Environment, Housing and Territorial Planning

“The recent devastating flooding in many parts of Africa, particularly Southern Africa, has highlighted once again how weather-related hazards undermine and disrupt social, political and economic development,” says Saviour Kasukuwere, Minister of Environment, Water and Climate of Zimbabwe and the outgoing Chair of AMCOMET. “There is no doubt that the vagaries of weather and climate will play a critical role in shaping Africa’s development agenda. This requires a collective approach, unity of purpose based upon the shared vision on climate proofing of our beloved continent, genuine partnerships and commitment.”

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